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Yes, she is the one! The art behind the words, the soul inside the book.

Are you a Snow Leopard? is a story not just of Hiuko, our main character, finding friends along the way. It is also a story of all the other characters being open to an adventure of the unknown and meeting new friends along the way.

This story comes to life thanks to the thoughtful, detailed and heartwarming illustrations from Kanchan Burathoki.

Kanchan is an artist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Along with pursuing her independent artistic practice, she works as an illustrator and a designer for multimedia studio Sixwasnine Design and clothing brand 108 wears.

I met Kanchan at a boarding school in Nepal at the beginning of fourth grade. As happens to so many of us, our friendship ebbed and flowed throughout school life. After high school, Kanchan went to Boston while I moved to Rotterdam.

And now, fifteen years later, we have this product - this beautiful book, which we owe to our friendship rekindled through the shared experience of parenthood & storytelling.

Already back in school, Kanchan expressed her creativity in many forms - art, stories/poems, song and dance. One of our creative moments together as teenagers was in a "Women's Music Festival/Competition." I giggle now, thinking about how we practised for hours performing this rock song and going on to win the competition eventually. The nerve it took for us at 16/17 to perform in front of a random audience is the same nerve that made us take a chance on our creativity and aspiration.

Initially, the idea was to work on this book and then take it to a publisher. Who knew that things would turn out differently? There were a lot of unknowns and figuring out to be done on the whole publishing side; the one constant in the process was Kanchan's art. Her experience and expertise played a phenomenal role in accomplishing this dream.

As we share our journey with the books, we must introduce the world to our creative mind - Kanchan, "the artist" behind Are you a Snow Leopard?

In the weeks to come, we will share more on the story writing and illustrating process - from a rough draft to a sketched storyboard, to the digitalized illustrations and fine-tuning.

Watch our book trailer and get intrigued to learn more about Hiuko's journey. I am sure you all will agree that this story is more than words, more than a lesson learnt - it's about the visuals that will ignite curiosity, self-awareness and confidence in a child.

Get in touch with Kanchan:



Social Media Handles: @bysolarclouds

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